GMAT Changes: What do they mean?

Check out the infographic released by Kaplan regarding the recent GMAT changes (and the new Integrated Reasoning section in particular):

GMAT Changes


What is immediately interesting to me is that there have been no real GMAT changes since 1997, and no substantial changes to the content in over 50 years. While that seems odd in some respects (how many things can you name that haven’t changed at all in 50 years?) it is also promising, because it shows us that this test is something stable, something that can easily be prepared and studied for.

But what the data really seems to drive home is are the other things that GMAT scores seem to be able to predict–everything from what a test-taker’s overall MBA GPA will be to how much that MBA student will end up making once he or she graduates.

We’ve written somewhat extensively about the recent GMAT changes and the addition of the new IR section. This section includes four types of questions (table analysis, graphics interpretation, multi-source reasoning, and two-party analysis) and requires that you “effectively use multiple sources of information and complementary skills to solve reasoning problems.”

The infographic above gives a real life example of why this type of thinking is important and how these GMAT changes might reflect something crucial. The kinds of questions asked in the Integrated Reasoning sections closely mirror real life case studies you might encounter once you get to graduate school. If you are going to be required to do intricate problem solving and critical thinking, using multiple sources and solving several kinds of problems, wouldn’t all schools want to get an idea of how you might do?

Of course, it still remains to be seen how these GMAT changes will actually impact your overall chance for admittance. Many schools, including Virginia business schools, have not yet determined how heavily an applicant’s IR score will weigh.


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